Tips for Choosing a Senior-Friendly Realtor

May 27, 2019

If you or a senior loved one are searching for a realtor, these tips can help you find and interview potential candidates.

Moving can be physically and emotionally exhausting. In fact, mental health experts rate moving as one of life’s most taxing events. It’s right up there with losing your job or getting a divorce.

Added to this stress is the sentimental aspect of moving. It is fairly common for a senior to have lived in the same house for decades. That can make parting with the home even more difficult. Finding a realtor who has experience and training working with seniors is the can help make the process more manageable.

Common Reasons Older Adults Relocate

Seniors move for many reasons, but there are a few that are the most common. In a study conducted by a relocation specialist, the top three reasons cited were:

  • Declining health: 34% of older adults surveyed said their move was caused by a change in health.
  • More freedom: 10% of respondents were looking for a more carefree lifestyle and fewer home-maintenance burdens.
  • Problems keeping up: 42% of older adults said they were no longer able to keep up with home repairs and maintenance.

Having a licensed real estate agent who understands each of these situations can help make this transition go a little more smoothly. That is one reason the National Association of Realtors created a special designation for realtors who work with seniors.

Choosing a Senior Real Estate Specialist

A realtor who has earned the Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES) credential has undergone additional training. They know the unique challenges older adults face as they prepare to sell their home. You can use your zip code to search the National Association of Realtors online database for a specialist near you.

Once you’ve found a few good candidates who seem capable of selling the senior’s home, it’s time to schedule an in-person interview with each one. If you live too far away to be able to do that, try to use a video chat service like Skype to conduct the interviews.

Here are a few suggestions to ask each of your realtor candidates:

  • What led them to seek the SRES credential?
  • How many seniors have they helped sell their home?
  • How do they go about setting a price for a senior’s home?
  • How do they approach the sale of an older adult’s home differently than that of a younger family?
  • What will they do to market the home?
  • Do they offer advice on staging or other ways to help the senior earn top dollar for the home?
  • How successful is their track record for getting the asking price for a home?
  • Are some months better than others when it comes to selling a senior’s house?
  • Do they have experience working with any senior move managers or moving companies in the area?

Our final tip is to ask for a reference list of families they’ve helped sell a home. That can give you a better understanding of how well they work with and are sensitive to the needs of older sellers.

If you are a senior or an adult child of one looking to make a move, we hope you will keep Legacy Senior Living in mind. With options ranging from independent and assisted living to memory care, we have a variety of solutions for older adults to consider.

Call us at (423) 478-8071 to set up a personal tour!